Swedish VINNOVA grant awarded to Silex Microsystems to develop magnetic MEMS technology for smartphones

April 30, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Silex Microsystems, a pure-play MEMS foundry, has been awarded a nearly 3 million Swedish Kronor research grant from VINNOVA, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems, to develop cutting-edge ferromagnetic materials for use in MEMS devices powering next-generation smartphone applications.

Demonstrating the company's proven MEMS technology development expertise and resources, Silex was one of the companies chosen out of 340 applicants for this highly regarded award.

"Magnetic MEMS is a key material for future MEMS products because it enables multi-axis sensor integration," says Dr Thorbjorn Ebefors, Chief Technologist at Silex Microsystems. "Smartphone applications already include e-compass integration and multi-axis sensors are combining magnetic sensing with gyro functions to enable multiple degrees-of-freedom sensors to go to market. In addition, magnetic materials in combination with the Silex Met-Via® Through Silicon Via technology can enable a new generation of high value, high Q integrated inductors. This is a crucial development for high-quality integrated passive devices integration and 'Functional Capping' solutions. This research brings new capabilities and materials to our customers for their next-generation product innovations."

The aim of VINNOVA's funding is to enable small and medium-sized enterprises to increase their competitiveness by investing in research and development, thus contributing to growth in Sweden. The award, under VINNOVA's R&D programs titled "Forska & Vax," was one of 63 programs granted, out of more than 340 proposals received. In total, VINNOVA grants totaled approximately 68 million Swedish Kronor for R&D programs. The magnetic MEMS technology development program is expected to begin in May 2012 and will run for 18 months at Silex. This comprehensive program includes materials selection, concept development, and prototyping runs.

www.vinnova.se/en